Home insurance frequently asked questions

I have photos of the damage to my property, why do you need to send someone to look at the damage?

Whilst photos can prove useful in settlement of a claim, often they do not show the full extent of the damage. Having one of our approved vendors to review the damage in person will provide a more accurate amount for settlement of the claim and ensure all aspects of your claim are resolved in a timely manner.

I don't have proof that I owned all of the items I am claiming for, what will happen with those?

Generally we would require proofs for all items being claimed for, so that we can evidence that you owned them in the first place. If this is not possible, please provide as much proof of ownership as you can and we will review each claim on its own merit.

I don't have original purchase receipts, what else can I send?

We can also consider photos of the items, bank statements evidencing purchases, photos of original packaging or manuals, power cables etc. This will depend on the type of item you are claiming for and its age but our claim handlers will be able to help you identify what we can accept for your claim. If we do require a receipt, you should be able to contact the original seller for a duplicate or e-receipt.

Why is my escape of water excess so high?

These types of claims are common and usually expensive, and therefore the insurance industry as a whole imposes higher excesses on these claims typically. Don’t forget – your insurance policy will not cover the cost of fixing the leak (i.e. the cost of replacing the pipe), but the resultant damage is covered subject to the excess being paid and a valid claim arising.

I don't know any builders, are you able to send someone out for me?

We are able to appoint our own approved vendors for you in most instances so please don’t hesitate to ask us. If for any reason we are unable to do this, we will always fully explain why and provide guidance on how to do this yourself.

Contents vs. Buildings - how do I know what's what?

Generally speaking, anything you would take with you when you move house is classed as a ‘content’, such as curtains, laptops, cutlery etc. This also extends to carpets and some ‘click-lock’ laminate flooring and any freestanding appliances. The ‘buildings’ are the main structure of your home or outbuildings and anything built in like an integrated dishwasher or cooker.

What is subsidence?

Subsidence happens when the ground beneath a property moves or sinks downwards, causing the foundations of the building to move. Some soils (and clay) can cause subsidence as it dries and shrinks, trees and other vegetation can cause it by drawing water from the soil, and excessive water from flooding or burst pipes can wash soil away which also causes subsidence. The effect on the building ranges from cracked walls to severe structural damage.

Trace and access

This is usually covered up to £5000 to determine where the water leak is coming from. Please consult your policy documentation for further clarification or call us to confirm whether you have this cover.

How do I access my policy documents?

You can access your policy documents and find details for contacting us about your policy on the manage my home insurance page.

What is personal possessions cover?

Personal possessions cover can be added to contents cover. Without this, your possessions are not covered when you are away from home. If, for example, you lose a ring when on holiday, you will need to have personal possessions cover in order to be insured for your loss.

How much home buildings cover do I need?

You need to make sure that you have enough cover for the full rebuilding cost of your home for buildings insurance and for the total replacement cost of all your belongings as new with contents insurance. The rebuilding cost of your property is different from the market value, and you will need to ensure you have sufficient cover for the full rebuilding cost of your property.

Zurich home insurance automatically covers up to £600,000 rebuilding costs and up to £60,000 contents insurance.

The following website can help you to calculate your rebuild cost: https://abi.bcis.co.uk

Zurich is not responsible for the content of external websites.

What cover is available for my PC or laptop?

Your PC will be covered as standard for selected events as part of contents cover. Laptops are covered within the home up to £1,500, but not for accidental damage, even if extended accidental damage cover is selected.

If you want cover for accidental damage for laptops or notepads or wish to cover these items outside of your home, you will need to select personal possessions cover. Laptops and notepads over £1,500 in value will need to be specified on the policy.

If you want to know more about what's covered, just give us a call on 0800 408 0975.

We may record or monitor calls for training and quality purposes.

What’s the difference between buildings and contents? Where do carpets fit in?

In home insurance terms, buildings insurance covers the structure of your home, including fences, paths, outbuildings and so on; plus anything permanently fitted or soon to be fitted, like kitchen and bathroom units.

Contents insurance covers what’s in your home; your goods, furniture and valuables. Carpets are not part of the structure of your home, so they fall under your contents insurance.

Can I claim for storm or flood damage?

Your buildings insurance will cover sudden and unexpected loss of or physical damage to the buildings caused by storm or flood, but not to fences, gates, hedges or railings.

Will my belongings be covered under home insurance outside the home or when I go on holiday?

Yes, if you have taken out Zurich personal possessions cover, which is an optional extra. This insurance covers sudden and unexpected loss of or physical damage, anywhere in the world, to the specified and unspecified items shown in the personal possessions specification that are owned by you or your family.

Will my buildings insurance cover my outbuildings such as the garage or shed?

Zurich buildings insurance covers domestic outbuildings and private garages, including garages on nearby sites that form part of your home.

Can I insure my property if it is let to tenants?

Zurich buildings and contents cover are only available if the property is occupied solely by the policyholder and family.

Can I insure a property that is not my permanent residence?

No. We can only insure your main home and you must be living there.

Can I insure my holiday home abroad?

Zurich insurance is unable to offer cover for second homes or holiday homes.

Can I change my details in the middle of my policy term?

It's no problem to change your details (we call this a mid-term adjustment). You can inform us of changes online by logging into your customer account. If you don’t have a customer account, you can find all the contact details to get in touch on the manage my home insurance page.

Please note that a £15 administration policy charge (includes insurance premium tax) will be incurred for making changes to your policy.

Can I cancel my home insurance policy?

You may cancel your home insurance policy at any time by telling us, either in writing, using the contact details set out in your covering letter.

Please refer to the policy booklet for more details on terms of cancellation, including applicable charges. You can find all the details to contact us on the manage my Home insurance page.

Cancellation within 14 days

If the policy is cancelled within 14 days of you receiving it (or for renewals, within 14 days of your policy renewal date) a cancellation fee of £15 (including Insurance Premium Tax) will be charged. If you have purchased any additional optional cover, under parts E – G, these will also be cancelled and we will charge you on a pro rata basis for the time we have been on cover and the balance refunded to you.

Cancellation over 14 days

We will deduct a £30 (including Insurance Premium Tax) cancellation fee from any refund if the policy is cancelled. If you have purchased any additional optional cover, under parts E – G, these will also be cancelled and there will be no refund.

If you have purchased additional optional cover under parts E – G and you cancel this cover independently to parts A-D of your policy more than 14 days after receiving documents (including where you have added additional optional cover during the term of the policy) there will be no refund.

What is Insurance Premium Tax (IPT)

IPT (Insurance Premium Tax) is a tax on general insurance premiums. This consists of two tax rates, a standard rate and a higher rate which is applied to travel insurance, appliance insurance and some vehicle insurance.

The UK Government announced on 8 March 2017 that it would increase the standard rate of Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) from 10% to 12% with effect from June 2017 for all new business and renewals.

Only the standard rate of the tax is changed. The standard rate of IPT applies to most general insurance, including Property, Motor, Casualty, Marine etc. The higher rate of IPT remains unchanged at 20%.